Friday, January 29, 2010

Blog Hiatus

Sorry about the lack of consistency with posting, I'm still adjusting myself to the new semester.  Furthermore, myself and Andrew North will be visiting Skidmore University causing ruckus (in a manner reminiscent of Genghis Khan and his band of savages).

So, there will probably not be any posts from either of us this weekend.  Davey P, feel free to kick some knowledge.  To everyone browsing the blogosphere, enjoy your weekend.

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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Loonies Descend on Haiti

A "wealthy donor" paid to send a planeload of Scientology faith-healers to Haiti. These yellow-shirted volunteers are going around "helping" people by giving them magic Scientology touches.

To be fair, the plane also included 50 Haitian-American doctors, and presumably these people don't heal by means of cult nonsense handed down by a lunatic science fiction writer who believed that a galactic space tyrant created humanity by chaining energy beings to a volcano and exploding them with nuclear weapons (this being the bedrock of Scientological theology).

I'll let them explain their methods:
"We're trained as volunteer ministers, we use a process called 'assist' to follow the nervous system to reconnect the main points, to bring back communication"

"When you get a sudden shock to a part of your body the energy gets stuck, so we re-establish communication within the body by touching people through their clothes, and asking people to feel the touch."

Some doctors at the hospital are skeptical.  One US doctor, who asked not to be named, snorted: "I didn't know touching could heal gangrene."

When asked what the Scientologists are doing here, another doctor said: "I don't know."
Do you care? "Not really," she said, wheeling an unconscious patient out of the operating room to join hundreds of others in the hospital's sunny courtyard.

SMH... Scientologists in Haiti are like drunk uncles at your family reunion.  They're inebriated, yes, but as long as they stay out of the foreground, they're allowed to coexist among normal adults (in this case, trained physicians).

[Link: BoingBoing]

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Monday, January 25, 2010

Los- Exhibit C Freestyle


For you astute hip hop fans out there, hear this before you throw something at the monitor...

No, I am not happy that every rapper* is getting on this Just Blaze & Jay Electronica masterpiece.  In fact, if I were the emperor of hip hop, you would have to audition to rap on Exhibit C.  However, there are extenuating circumstances to such a rule, such as outstanding lyricism.  So without further ado, enjoy Baltimore's own Los and his version of Exhibit C... or stay angry and listen to some old Jay Elec.  Whichever.

*any fool with a mic and production equipment

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Skillz - '09 Rap Up (Video)

Here's the video for Virginia's own Skillz and his annual (w)rap up.  From Bernie Madoff to Tiger Woods, he covers pretty much everything.  Props.

Download it:

DOWNLOAD: Skillz- Rap Up 09 (usershare)

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Saturday, January 23, 2010

Genius Bar War Stories

Besides struggling in a world of morons, Apple "Geniuses" put up with a lot of shit.  From computers caked in toxic waste to getting punched in the face, the war stories are endless.  The best part?  They're all true.  Here are my two favorites:


A man was having problems connecting his iPhone to his Linksys router. After it became apparent it was a router configuration problem, George turned to Cisco tech support to help the man out, so he could print the instructions the man needed to fix it. The man decided George was taking too long, and called him a "fucking idiot."

George replied that if the man kept verbally abusing him, he wouldn't be able to continuing helping. "Fuck you faggot," was followed by a right jab to George's face, caught on security camera, and actually shown here. The man ran around to the other side of the Genius Bar, determined to turn the assault into a full-fledged fight, before several Geniuses could restrain him. He ran out as the cops were called. Apple's currently pressing charges.

George has a new job now.

You're a Genius!

Genius Bar appointments are a sad fact of life if you need to get anything made by Apple fixed. But you know, some people don't have time for that crap. They're too important. When a guy, we'll call him Chuck, found out the wait at Robert's Genius Bar would be at least 30 minutes, he pitched his laptop onto the counter, and told Robert to call him when it was fixed. Without mentioning what was wrong with it, or leaving any contact info.

A few weeks later, Chuck returns, asking about his laptop. Robert remembered who it was, and told Chuck he needed to get it checked in and sign the paperwork before any work could proceed. Chuck didn't time for all that, and left again. Without a signature, it couldn't be fixed.

Another few weeks go by, and Chuck returns. Robert's been waiting, and has a form ready to go that just needs a quick signature. He explains that they haven't been able to work on the laptop without his signature, but it would only take a couple of days once he signed it over.

Chuck explodes, "IT'S NOT DONE YET? BUT YOU'RE A GENIUS! YOU'RE A GENIUS! YOU'RE A GENIUS! YOU'RE A GENIUS!" Chuck starts doing the Tom Cruise hop as he repeats his cry, over and over.

A different employee goes out to take care of Chuck, who manages to calm down and sign the form, but not without asking the new guy, "What's it like to work with fags all day?"

Chuck never returned for his computer.

Big thanks to Matt Buchanan over at Gizmodo.

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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

araabMUZIK in HD (Video)

Dipset producer araabMUZIK, if you didn't know already, is a savage on the MPC.  Apparently he does live performances of this... anyway, here's his brand new promo... incredible.

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Big Sean - Million Dollars (Video)

...And the new music keeps coming.  Visuals for Sean's single off Finally Famous, which still does not have a release date.  Video location: Detroit, possibly the worst city ever. 

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XV – Bad News pt.2

One year ago today, the kid from Kansas released Bad News, speaking his mind on everything happening in the music industry. Now he’s back with part 2, detailing the dramatic changes, success and getting shunned as a 2010 XXL Freshman. This also acts as the first leak from his upcoming mixtape, Vizzy Zone, hosted by DJ Ill Will & DJ Rockstar.

Download it:

DOWNLOAD: XV- Bad News pt. 2 (usershare)

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New RJD2 - The Shining Path feat. Phonte

Phonte joins RJ for a joint off his new album, The Colossus, which dropped today.  Phonte + RJD2 = DOPE

Download it:

DOWNLOAD: RJD2- The Shining Path feat. Phonte (usershare)

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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Israeli Defense Ministry x Semi-Lethal Sonic Cannons

Anyone who knows anything about international affairs knows that the Israelis don't mess around when it comes to security.

Despite the constant threat of terrorist attack, El Al remains among the safest airlines in the world every year.  To deal with (un)civil insurrection, the Israeli Defense Ministry has contracted for the production of sonic-boom stun-guns called "Thunder Generator cannons," which they hope to use in crowd-control situations.

The cannons are built by farming company PDT Agro, which originally designed the sound blasters as a means of warding birds away from crops.  The weapon runs on LPG, a common cooking gas, which mixes with oxygen to generate powerful bursts of sound. Each sound burst lasts around 300 milliseconds, and travels from the cannon at almost six times the speed of sound* 

*The speed of sound (in dry air) = 768 mph.

Although it's intended to be less than lethal, the Thunder Generator cannon can cause death to people within 30 feet of the blast. For people farther away than 30 feet, the sonic boom will deafen them and knock them back, and hopefully disperse an unruly crowd.

Orthodox settlers and rock-throwing Palestinians beware.

[Link: Popular Science]

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Sunday, January 17, 2010

Throwback Song of the Week-- "Kookies" by MF DOOM

"But thousands of more horror and on-line Gomorrah
And Sodom
They got 'em with they curls out
And they got a better sales pitch then the girl scouts

 ...Last track off DOOM's album, Mm.. Food.  Doom is a lyrical GENIUS.

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Cool Science-- Belgian Woman Grows Transplanted Trachea in Her Forearm

Normally, if you have a windpipe nestled inside your arm, it's a problem. Not so for Linda de Croock, 54, who grew a dead man's trachea in her arm to acclimate it to her body before having it transplanted to her throat.

A year after the surgery, researchers report in the New England Journal of Medicine that de Croock, a Belgian woman whose throat was crushed in a car accident 25 years ago, is doing well. de Croock took anti-rejection drugs before doctors wrapped the donor trachea in her own tissue, taken from her cheek, and implanted it in her forearm where they attached it to a new blood supply.

Though hosting an extra organ in her arm was reportedly uncomfortable, it definitely beat the two metal stents that had previously kept her windpipe open. 

After about 10 months, doctors successfully transplanted the trachea from her arm to her throat. Because her own tissue now surrounds the windpipe, de Croock no longer has to take immunosuppressants, which leave the body vulnerable to attack and can cause cancer.
This trachea is the largest organ that has been successfully transplanted to date using this technique; the success shows great promise for future developments.  Pretty sweet if you ask me.

[Link: Popular Science]

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Thursday, January 14, 2010

How and Where to Donate to Haiti (and Avoid Scams)

You've probably seen a lot of news, emails, tweets, and other messages about helping Haiti after a devastating earthquake. Here are sites where you can help and donate, and information on avoiding the sad likelihood of fake charity scams.

Giving Help
Avoiding scams and verifying non-profits
  • Send money, not stuff. Charity organizations can use your financial help to restock their supplies, but, as the GlobalPost explains, sending clothes, food, or other items is, at best, misguided.
  • Charity Navigator, an independent evaluator of non-profits and aid organizations, has compiled a list of relief organizations working in Haiti that have attained three- or four-star ratings from their studies, and are generally considered trustworthy and efficient.
  • TIME points out the popularity of text message donation campaigns, but also suggests being cautious of online scams:
    As with any kind of giving, it's wise to verify that the cause you are donating to is a legitimate organization before pledging your funds. This is especially true when you learn of a nonprofit on Facebook, where phishing and other scams can give the impression that your friends are sending out links, when really a spammer has hijacked their identity.
    Legitimate organizations also send a confirmation text moments after you donate to verify that you really want to give the specified amount, typically $5 or $10. If you say yes, then the amount will appear on your next cell phone bill. If you did not intend to donate, you can cancel your pledge.
  • CBS News recommends checking out any group you're about to give to at The Foundation Center web site, where you can look up that group's most recent tax filing and non-profit status.
If you've given money, time, or other help to a good organization helping in Haiti, tell us about it in the comments.

[Link: LifeHacker]

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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Using Telescope Optics to Sharpen Microscopic Images

When taking extremely deep space images, scientists must analyze the incident angle of incoming light to correct and sharpen their photos. Since light passing through a medium like space is affected by all masses in its path to the point of observation (through luminescence, orbiting haze, even gravity), a negative must be created and applied to eliminate the blurriness. For a general understanding, take a look at the image to the left.

This basic principle is now being applied to laboratory microscopy as well. Often times, when working with human samples, overlying tissue can blur the image of the cells below. Now using the concept of image correction from space photography, scientists have developed a series of computer algorithms to, based upon analysis of various tissues, correct the image for cells below blocking tissue.

Researchers from Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Coleman Technologies, have this description for their new technology,

Central to the technique is a liquid crystal “spatial light modulator,” which both measures and samples’ optical variations and then sculpts a wave of light into a shape that all but nullifies the sample’s own image-blurring inconsistencies.

With control algorithms devised by the researchers, the liquid crystal element specifies a sequence of illumination patterns that serially probe the deflections of incoming light rays in tens or even hundreds of specific regions of the sample by measuring the image displacements caused by such deflections. An algorithm then translates these measurements into control signals that transform the same liquid crystal component into a mask that tilts the light rays so they converge at a common point, thus negating the sample’s own optical aberrations.

So far the researchers have proven the principle by successfully imaging one-micron diameter spheres tucked underneath a 300-micron thick slice of mouse brain tissue and neurons up to 400-microns deep inside mouse brain tissue.

That's some serious depth! Hopefully this will boost the rates for accurate diagnoses (brain tumor or otherwise).

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New Music [Wednesdays]

Snoop and Jay-Z team up for the remix of Malice In Wonderland's hottest (and most recycled) track, "I Wanna Rock."  The punchlines are CRAZY.  Enjoy the Kings G-Mix:

"I used to Chef Raekwon, giving fiends Ghost face"

Download it:

Stream it:

Neako & Wiz hit us with another leak off Neako's upcoming tape, Junk Food, due out later this year.  808-heavy production by Kril Krak and yes, that's an Eazy-E sample.

Download it:

Stream it:

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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Another Sign of the Apocalypse-- Electromagnetic Allergies

Arthur Firstenberg, from Santa Fe, California, is suing his neighbor for refusing to turn off their cellphone, wifi, computers and other electronics because he believes he is suffering from electromagnetic hypersensitivity (seriously).

Electromagnetic hypersensitivity (ES) is a condition in which people claim to experience medical symptoms that they believe are caused by exposure to electromagnetic fields. I emphasize claim because no one has been able to prove, to any degree, that this is an actual, physical ailment.

Check out his request for a preliminary injunction:
Firstenberg "cannot stay in a hotel, because hotels and motels all employ wi-fi connections, which trigger a severe illness. If (Firstenberg) cannot obtain preliminary relief, he will be forced to continue to sleep in his car, enduring winter cold and discomfort, until this case can be heard."

Mr. Firstenberg definitely gets 3 out of 5 "Cam True Mag" faces:

What's a "Cam True Mag" face? It's the default expression anyone makes someone really says something stupid. 3/5 "Cam True Mag" faces. Case closed.

[Link: Gizmodo]

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Monday, January 11, 2010

Badass Ways to Commit Suicide-- BASE Jumping Off the Burj Khalifa

You might have heard of the recently-opened Burj Khalifa as the world's tallest building (2,716 feet).  The engineering marvel was unveiled in May of last year and already two daredevils have decided they would jump off the tippy top. 

Who are these badasses?  Nasir Al Niyadi and Omar Al Hegelan.  Head over to The Guardian for video which includes helmet-cam footage of the world record-setting, half-mile drop.

*jaw drops*

*wishes I had bigger cojones*

[Link: Gizmodo]

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Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The New Year's Sign of the Apocalypse

The world is definitely going to end in 2010.  Why you ask?

Because New York City officials decided to spend $32,000 (of the taxpayer's money) on 70,000 fliers that show fiends how to shoot heroin; complete with detailed tips on prepping the dope and injecting it into your arm.

Here's page 6 of 16:

iQuit my faith in humanity.

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Monday, January 4, 2010

Evan's "Artists to Watch" for 2010 -- Part I

J. Cole
The first artist signed to Jay-Z's Roc Nation, (arguably) the best feature on the hottest album of '09 (Blueprint 3), and a definite finalist for mixtape of the year (The Warm Up).  Quite simply, J. Cole is on the rise.  As a rapper/producer, he often raps over his own beats, which gives him a great degree of creative freedom that few emcees can enjoy.  Lyrics and flow, however, are where he really shines.  With thoughtful and introspective content delivered through a slick, punchline-heavy style, J. Cole is definitely talented.  Just check out "Lights Please" and you'll become a fan, I promise.

There's no one else like Curren$y, seriously.  He paved his own way; from his teenage years on Master P's No Limit Records, to his brief stint with Weezy's Young Money, Curren$y has done it all himself.  After dropping Young Money and releasing 8 (dope) solo mixtapes and 2 albums in 3 years, Curren$y's hard work is finally paying off.  Some of you might know him from How Fly, his joint (pun!) mixtape with Wiz Khalifa, but look out for Spitta in 2010.  He, Jay Electronica, and Mos Def have formed the supergroup, "Center Edge Territory," and he's got an album, The Grand Scheme of Things, slated for release sometime this year.  Lyrically, he's on point with the best of the best.  Just check out his MySpace and see for yourself.


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Sunday, January 3, 2010

Evan's "Best of 2009" List -- MUSIC

Best Mixtape:

Best Album:

Winner: Blueprint 3 - Jay-Z
Runner Up: Only Built 4 Cuban Linx 2 - Raekwon
Honorable Mention: Man On the Moon: The End of Day

Best Music Video:

Winner: Fall Out the Sky - XV

List inspired by the Decent Man with the Wise Words

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